As a parent of 3 highly energetic and… “spirited” children I know that school ‘holidays’ really means ‘finding multiple forms of constant entertainment for your pride & joy 16+ hours a day for weeks on end’.
For those that have already completed several tours you know that these weeks are often more demanding than the school weeks, so how do you find time for yourself so you don’t go insane in the membrane? (Sorry 90’s Hip Hop flashback).
Before I start with the ‘How’ let’s get clear on the ‘Why’, as the ‘Why’ must be even more powerful than the demands of those darling millennials.
If you don’t prioritise “You Time” first and recharge yourself both physically and emotionally, then you are going to be more prone to snapping at your children, leaving them in front of screens for hours on end and many other quick-fixes that aren’t as good as playing with their main role models in life.
As a wise woman once said “your children become who you are, not what you say”. An important lesson when I think back on how many times I tried the “barking orders from the laptop” method and it didn’t work once!
As all you parents know there is a cataclysmic amount of physical, mental and emotional demands needed for a day with children, which means you need multiple forms of energy coming in. A system that works well for my clients is to set up a Google Doc and make a list of all the things that give you energy in the column next to your goals (suggestions below). Start them all red and then highlight them green whenever you achieve one.
In the perfect world you would make all these boxes green everyday, but seeing as no one lives in FantasyLand just aim for as many as you can each day. When you’re really short on time or energy choose the one/s that will bring you the most relief.
try these examples
- 10 mins meditation
- 5 mins core strength work
- 10 min walk
- A solo activity that makes you smile (listening to your fav song)
- 2L water before midday
- 1L after midday
- At least 2 homemade and healthy meals
- Zero chocolate or other junk foods
- Reading a book for 10 mins
- Bed by 9:30pm at the latest
The above suggestions are fast, free and can have a real snowball effect on the rest of your day. They fuel a number of silo’s that will help you to cope better with all the demands during the holidays.
The answer to creating more time, is to follow the suggestions above, especially the final one of an early night. I’m well aware that 9-11pm is the only time many mothers get to themselves, but you’re just going to have to let the washing go unfolded for a few more hours. And when you wake up early and tick off a couple of your daily tasks you will have a more positive energy that the kids will pick up on. I did it this weekend and then my 8 year old did 4 loads of washing with me! True Story!
So don’t fall into the ‘It’s all too hard trap’! Nourish yourself FIRST, and then manage your energy better and you will come up with smarter ways of doing things.
As always, make it fun and spread the joy!